|1st New York Light Artillery, Batty E
1st Artillery Regiment (Light) Battery E
Mustered in: September 13, 1861
Mustered out: June 16,1865
The following is taken from Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg (New York at Gettysburg) by the New York
Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga. Albany, NY: J.B. Lyon Company, 1902.
Battery E, First Regiment New York Light Artillery, was raised in the counties of Steuben and Livingston. Under command of
Capt. John Stocum. the company went into barracks at Elmira, N. Y., where it was mustered into the United States service,
September 13, 1861. Leaving Elmira in November, it proceeded to Washington, where it encamped during the winter of 1861-
62. In March, 1862, it was assigned to Smith's Division, of the Fourth Corps, Army of the Potomac, and in the same month
embarked on transports at Alexandria, Va., en route for the Peninsular campaign. The battery was now under command of
Capt. Charles C. Wheeler, Captain Stocum having been discharged January 27, 1862.
Battery E was prominently engaged at the siege of Yorktown, in April, 1862, and was in action in the reconnoissance and
skirmish near Lee's Mill, April 6th. In this affair the enemy's artillery sent a percussion shell, from a 10-pounder Parrott,
which passed through the corner of an ammunition chest on a limber belonging to one of Wheeler's guns. This shell exploded
twenty-nine cannon cartridges and two case shot in one compartment of the chest, and set fire to the packing tow in the other
compartment. Sergt. David L. Smith and Artf. James H. Hickox promptly passed water upon the burning tow, which Priv.
William H. Kershner pulled out with his hands, and thus prevented the explosion of the remaining ammunition. Gen. D. E.
Keyes, the commander of the Fourth Corps, mentions this incident in his official report of the skirmish, and adds words of
praise for the excellent conduct of the battery.
Wheeler's four guns were in action again on May 5th, at the battle of Williamsburg, taking position in front of Fort Magruder.
Here fell the first man killed in the battery. In this engagement it acted in conjunction with Hancock's Brigade, and under
General Hancock's immediate command. Upon the organization of the Sixth Corps in May, 1862, Smith's Division was
transferred to that command, the battery going with it.
In company with Davidson's (Third) Brigade, of Smith's Division, Battery E was engaged on May 24th, at the battle of
Mechanicsville, but without sustaining any casualties, aside from some horses which were killed. Colonel McKean of the
Seventy-seventh New York Infantry, in his official report of this engagement, says that "Wheeler's Battery most effectually
riddled the village, driving the enemy's sharpshooters out of the buildings, and causing his artillery to reply at longer and still
longer intervals until it was silent."
Battery E suffered considerably from sickness while on the Peninsula, so much so that at the battle of White Oak Swamp,
Captain Wheeler reported that he could man only two of his guns effectively. After participating in the Seven Days' battle the
battery went into camp at Harrison's Landing, on the James River, where the entire army was resting after the campaign.
The battery becoming reduced in numbers below the point of efficiency, it was attached to Cowan's First Independent
Battery in August, 1862, with which it served during the Maryland campaign, at Antietam and Fredericks-burg. Captain
Wheeler received an honorable discharge, January 22, 1863. On June 20, 1863, Battery E was transferred to Reynolds' Battery
— L, First N. Y. L. A.— with which it fought at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsyl-vania.
Capt. Henry W. Davis, formerly an officer in Winslow's Battery — D — was assigned to Battery E in May, 1864, but he
was killed at the battle of the North Anna River, May 23, 1864, while endeavoring to rally a line of infantry behind Mink's
While before Petersburg, in June, 1864, Battery E was reorganized under the command of First Lieut. James B. Hazelton, and
assigned to duty in the trenches, where it was placed in charge of some Coehorn mortars. It was now in the Fifth Corps, and
formed part of Major Fitzhugh's Brigade of the Reserve Artillery. Lieut. Angell Matthewson, of Winslow's Battery — D —
was commissioned captain and assigned to the command of Battery E.
Under command of Lieut. George H. Barse, the battery participated in the final campaign, taking an active part in the assault
which resulted in the fall of Petersburg, after which it accompanied the Fifth Corps to Appomattox.
It returned to Elmira, under the command of Captain Matthewson, where it was mustered out June 6, 1865.